-from Johann Ernst von Holst’s The Crucified is My Love: Morning and Evening Devotions for the Holy Season of Lent
Now Jesus hangs on the accursed tree, an outcast between heaven and earth. His pale face is bent forward. His arms that opened lovingly to the weary and heavy-laden are drawn taut against the crossbeam. His hands that healed the sick and blessed little children are fastened to it with iron nails, and his feet, which had walked the path to salvation, are bored through and securely nailed to the lower end of the cross. His holy blood, flowing from his burning wounds, runs down into the sand of Golgotha and blesses the earth that has rejected him. What pains shoot through his quivering body and what thoughts and feelings pass through his holy soul! No one can fathom his sorrow that all his loving efforts for the welfare of his people have to end like this. No one at this time could conceive that all the misery of the whole of lost humanity was concentrated in this one heart. He alone knew and felt it all, and he alone pondered the immense guilt that the human race brought upon itself with this blackest of all crimes. But Jesus saw still deeper…He knew that with his last breath a tremendous change must take place: the fall of the prince of this world, the beginning of the glad tidings of peace, and the fulfillment of his own prophecy, When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself. (John 12:32) As for us, we fall on our knees, cover our faces, and worship the love that surpasses all thought.